going alpha

We are getting close to the astrometry.net alpha release. I spent my research time today finishing the tests I described yesterday; our internal code passed with flying colors (it actually centroids the stars more reliably as a function of signal-to-noise than I expected). Lang has been doing a power of work duct-taping code together, getting it all to talk to the web, and making indices for images of all scales. This week, in his spare time, he solved blind two of the astronomy pictures of the day, one of the vela nebula and one of the rosette nebula (below)!

Yes, he just uploaded that JPEG into our astrometry.net pre-alpha web page and astrometry.net gave him back its location and orientation on the sky.

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